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  • Writer's pictureGrace Health

Does A Faint Pregnancy Test Result Mean Pregnancy?

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Imagine this, you know you are approaching your predicted period date. It’s the Grace Health app that informed you. Problem is, a couple of days down the line your period is nowhere to be seen and so you decided to take a pregnancy test. Especially if you had unprotected sex when your chances to conceive were high. But here is where it gets interesting, the test result has a faint line! Does it mean that you are pregnant or is it just faulty?

For most home pregnancy test kits, one line means the test is negative and you’re not pregnant, and two lines mean the test is positive and you are pregnant. A faint positive line in the results window, on the other hand, can leave you rather confused.

However, a faint positive line isn’t uncommon and there are a few possible explanations. Such as…

You could be pregnant

If you see a faint positive line, chances are you could be pregnant. For those couples who are on a conception journey, we can only imagine how eager and impatient you might be when taking a home pregnancy test. It may even come with a little anxiety each time. Seeing a faint positive line does not help the situation at all.

What’s important to note is that some women see a distinguishable positive line after taking a home test. But in other cases, the positive line appears faded. In these instances, a faint positive can be caused by low levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Home pregnancy tests are designed to test for the HCG hormone. If it's present in your urine, you’ll have a positive test result. The more hCG in your system, the easier it is to see and read a positive line on a home test. When you take the pregnancy test earlier on in your pregnancy that is shortly after you’ve missed your period it could appear faint due to a lower level of the hormone. This means that you are pregnant but not far along into your pregnancy.

You’re not pregnant, false alarm

A faint positive line doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. Sometimes, what appears to be a positive line is an evaporation line. This is probably good news for anyone who is not trying to conceive. but before you jump to a conclusion, let’s understand why it happens. An evaporation line can appear in the results window as urine evaporates from the stick.

How can you identify it? The primary difference is that evaporation lines appear in the test window several minutes after the recommended time for checking the test results. What this means is that, If you check your results within the recommended time frame and see a faint positive line, you’re most likely pregnant. If you miss the window for checking the results and you don’t check the test until 10 minutes later, a faint line may be an evaporation line, which means you’re not pregnant. To avoid this, read and carefully follow the instructions. The package will let you know when to check your test results, which can be within three to five minutes, depending on the manufacturer.

Still not sure whether a faint line is a positive line or an evaporation line, just retake the test! If possible, wait two or three days before taking another one. If you are pregnant, this gives your body additional time to produce more of the HCG hormone, which can result in a clear, undeniable positive line.

Perhaps you were pregnant

As much as we would hate to be the bearer of bad news, the faint line may represent early pregnancy loss. Also referred to as chemical pregnancy, which occurs within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, or much earlier. Miscarriages can appear in different ways. If you suspect you are having or have had a miscarriage, speak to your doctor. On the bright side, women who have had a very early pregnancy loss don’t necessarily have problems conceiving at a later time and go on to have healthy babies.

Still not sure if it’s a faint positive? Next steps

Maybe you are reading all this but you can’t say for sure that you are interpreting the results correctly. Do this:

  • Wait a couple of days and test again if you still haven’t gotten your period.

  • Take the test first thing in the morning or after holding your urine for several hours.

  • Test right away (always check to make sure it’s not expired first).

  • Alternatively, book an appointment with your doctor for an in-clinic pregnancy test

  • Your doctor can take a urine or blood sample and more accurately determine whether a pregnancy has occurred.

  • If you think you had a very early miscarriage, let your doctor know.

Whether you are trying to conceive or not, a faint positive test can be a little confusing and quite frankly scary. However, now that you have read this blog post you are more aware of the various reasons why you could be seeing a faint line. If anything you could always test after a few days, first thing in the morning after following instructions to the latter. If you still see a faint line or you are simply puzzled about it, consult your doctor.

Stay informed, stay in control Have you learned something today?

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